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Hawks Soar To Sunshine State

June 7, 2005 - National Indoor Football League (NIFL) - Everett Hawks News Release

The Everett Hawks make their last road trip of the season this week when they travel to Miami, FL to face the Miami Morays. The team is expected to leave for the trip on Friday, giving them a couple days to adjust to the time change.

Last Week, the Hawks had a tough battle with their division rival, the Wyoming Cavalry. The entire game was close, but the Hawks prevailed, 62-54, to stay undefeated in front of a wild crowd in Casper. “The atmosphere in that stadium is unbelievable. Every time I go to Casper I know it’s going to be a crazy game. Their fans are wild and it makes it hard for the opposing team to call their plays.” It was Wyoming’s first loss at home on the season, and only their second loss in their last eight games.

The Morays took a devastating loss last week on their home field, losing to the Daytona Beach Hawgs 39-31 and surrendering first place in the Atlantic South Division. It was the Morays first home loss of the season. Miami is now 7-4 on the season.

Everett will clinch their division with a win this week. The Hawks have an undefeated mark on the season with an 11-0 record. The Odessa Roughnecks are the only other undefeated team in the NIFL. The Cavalry remain in second place in the Pacific West at 7-3. They hold a half game lead over the red hot Tri-Cities Fever team (7-4), who has won five straight games. The Billings Mavericks remain in the playoff hunt with a 4-6 record. In the cellar of the division is the winless Lincoln Capitols (0-9).

Info About Everett Hawks Upcoming Opponent: The Miami Morays

Larry Little comes to the Morays with a total of 16 years of head coaching experience and 14 years of NFL playing experience with the San Diego Chargers and Miami Dolphins.

Little is best known to Miami fans as a 12-year member of the Miami Dolphins. Little was a member of the Super Bowl Champion 1972 squad, which to this day remains the only team in NFL history to have a perfect undefeated season. The Dolphins also repeated as Super Bowl champions in 1973, establishing themselves as one of the early NFL dynasties.

Little led the awesome Dolphins running machine, and his efforts got him selected to the All-Pro Teams for five years straight from 1971 to 1975, and again in 1977. He also was selected to play in the Pro Bowl in 1970 and from 1972 to 1975. Little also was the first player in league history to be named as AFC Offensive Lineman of the Year for three straight seasons (70-72) by the NFLPA. Little ended his distinguished playing career when he retired in 1980.

In recognition to his contributions to the community and his home state of Florida athletics, Little was inducted into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame in 1978. In 1990, he was named a member of the Dolphin’s Silver Anniversary all-time team. 1993 was also a big year for Little, as he earned the ultimate honors of being inducted in the NFL Hall of Fame and into the Dolphins Honor Roll at Pro Player Stadium.

Little first entered the coaching field when he served as the Head Coach of the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats from 1983 to 1991. In nine years, Little compiled a record of 43-49-1 (.468) and led B-CC to the school’s only two Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in 1984 and 1988. He was named the Division 1-AA Coach of the Year in 1984. In 1992, Little coached the Ohio Glory in the World League in their inaugural season.

From 1993 to 1998, Little served as the Head Coach of the Division II North Carolina Central Eagles, compiling a record of 33 wins and 32 losses. In 1996, Little’s Eagles were ranked as high as 5th in the nation on the strength of winning seven games in a row and finishing the season with an overall record of 8-3.

Key Players for the Miami Morays

QB Derrick Vickers
Height: 5’11
Weight: 185
College: Central Michigan University

Vickers played his college ball at Central Michigan University, where he played Quarterback for four years. Vickers was more of the conservative type of quarterback while in college – not taking chances with the deep ball, but was steady as he marched his team down the field with short passes. He is a great scrambler with excellent quickness; Vickers can make plays with his feet as well as his arm. He is mostly known for his strong arm and ability to scramble.

Vickers earned starts in 31 of 40 games he played in and ended up as one of the top QB’s in CMU history. Vickers tied in total offense (5,747), 2nd in passes attempted (937), 2nd in passes completed (492), 3rd in TD passes (34), 3rd in yards passing (5388). Vicker’s other career numbers are 52.5 completion percentage and a 134.7 YPG average. Vicker’s stepbrother is Buffalo Bills running back Willis McGahee.

WR Ethenic Sands
Height: 5’11
Weight: 170
College: University of Miami

Sands is a Quick, elusive pass catcher. He comes back to the ball, times his receptions nicely and extends to grab the high throw. Solid route runner that works to get separation.

Sands was a reliable receiver in college, who was the University of Miami's primary punt return men. He had a "team first" attitude throughout his college career, helping the team by switching positions from wide receiver to QB in 2000 and then made a smooth transition back to receiver in 2001 and became one of the Hurricanes' solid weapons on the perimeter, catching 26 passes for 385 yards in 11 games in 2001. He mirrored those numbers in 2002 by catching 21 passes for 312 yards and four TDs.

Although he had a productive career in college, Sands finished the 2002 with no call from an NFL team. Now he is hoping that a productive season with the Morays indoor football team can impress NFL scouts. "I've been playing football since I was a kid, trying to get to the next level - the NFL," said Sands. "That's my main goal, to do whatever I have to do to get there, from playing here to Arena Football and Canadian - whatever it takes for me to get there."

RB Rafael Cooper
Height: 5'11
Weight: 205
College: University of Louisville

Cooper signed with the Detroit Lions’ active roster from the practice squad on November 5, 2002 after spending training camp with the Tennessee Titans, who allocated him to the Amsterdam Admirals for the 2002 NFL Europe season. While with the Admirals, Cooper started eight games and led the league with 10 touchdowns (eight rushing, one receiving and one kickoff return), rushed for 751 yards, caught 29 passes for 238 yards and returned 11 kickoffs for 370 yards.

He was selected by the Memphis Maniax of the now defunct XFL. Cooper also had two stints with the Green Bay Packers from June 7 to July 20, 2000 and August 8 to August 27, 2001.

Cooper played college football at both the University of Louisville and University of Minnesota. He earned player of the game honors as a Golden Gopher in 1995 after rushing for 142 yards and a touchdown against Michigan. Following his senior season at Chadsey High School in Detroit, Cooper was selected first-team All-American by Street and Smith’s and Super Prep magazine.

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